Stainless steel is a popular material used for making pans as it’s durable, nonreactive and resistant to rust and scratches. On this page we’ll share some tips for choosing stainless-steel pans as well as reviews of some of the best you can get in the UK right now.
Best Stainless-Steel Cookware Sets in the UK
1. John Lewis & Partners Classic Stainless Steel Saucepan Set
Made of premium-grade stainless steel, these saucepans have a clean and elegant appearance. Their gleaming, reflective surfaces will add brightness to your kitchen. Whether your kitchen is more contemporary in style or more traditional, the saucepans will fit well with the decor.
The diameters of the three saucepans are 16, 18, and 20 centimetres, and their capacities are 1.5, 2, and 2.8 litres. They’re reassuringly sturdy without being too heavy. One of the reasons they’re easy to manoeuvre is that their handles are designed to stay relatively cool.
If you’re busy and need to minimise the time spent washing up, you’ll be happy to know that these saucepans are easy to clean and safe for dishwasher use. You can also count on their durability.
They may be relatively expensive, but they’re an excellent investment and can last for decades in good condition. The materials they’re made of give them a resistance to corrosion.
If you have an induction cooktop, the saucepans are compatible with it, and they’re good for other kinds of hobs as well. They’re also safe for oven use, assuming you don’t let the oven temperature exceed 180 degrees Celsius.
One potential drawback to using them is that they don’t have non-stick surfaces. You also can’t pop them into a microwave.
All in all, these are impressively durable saucepans that cook efficiently. They also have a sleek, shining elegance that makes them a prized addition to a kitchen.
2. ProCook Gourmet Stainless Steel Strain & Pour Saucepan Set
One feature that immediately stands out in this four-piece set is the glass lid on each saucepan. The lids give you a tantalising peek at the food you’re preparing and help you judge how the cooking is coming along. You don’t need to keep lifting the lid to check.
Although you can’t use them on hot plates, these stainless-steel saucepans work well on a variety of other cooktops, including electric, gas, and induction. You can also place them in the oven at a temperature of up to 260 degrees Celsius.
Because you probably won’t need to change pans when transferring the food from the cooktop to the oven, you’ll reduce the chances of spillage.
The straining holes are another convenient feature. Without having to use a colander, you can drain each pan. Plus, the silicone handles are resistant to heat and easy to grip.
This set of saucepans may be relatively expensive, but each piece is given a 10-year guarantee for durability. Also, the saucepans range from 14 to 20 centimetres in diameter and 1.1 to 3.3 litres in capacity, making it easier for you to simultaneously prepare dishes of different types and sizes.
Another bonus is that there are litre markings inside each pan. These are especially useful for people who don’t easily eyeball measurements or who want to guarantee precision when cooking.
As for flaws, some people find the handles too long, and the handles sometimes loosen. However, these saucepans have an excellent functionality overall, and their clean, sleek appearance is attractive.
3. Stellar 7000 S7C1D Five-Piece Set of Stainless-Steel Pans
If you cook only casually and occasionally, this five-piece set is probably overkill. These pans have been designed to meet the standards of professional chefs, so they’re a good choice if you take your cooking more seriously.
The set is made up of a milk pan measuring 14 centimetres, a frying pan that’s 26 centimetres, and three saucepans at 16, 18, and 20 centimetres.
The glass lids, which are resistant to shattering, allow you to monitor your cooking.
Each piece comes with a lifetime guarantee for durability, and the frying pan has a non-stick coating that should last for at least a decade. It’s also resistant to scratches.
Made of mirror-polished stainless steel, these pans have a strikingly beautiful appearance. But their chief advantages are their durability and the way they allow for versatile and easy use.
They’re compatible with every type of hob, including induction, gas, and halogen. You can also place them in the oven at a temperature of up to 210 degrees Celsius.
What’s more, the pans contain markings for pints and litres, helping you quickly assess the appropriate measurements. The lids have strainer holes, and each saucepan has been manufactured with a wide lip that allows for tidier pouring.
With the exception of the frying pan, the set can handle dishwasher use, and it’s relatively easy to keep each pan clean.
One word of caution is that the handles of the lids can get quite hot, making protection for your hands essential.
Otherwise, the pans have garnered positive reviews for their beautiful and functional design and the way they distribute heat with reliable evenness.
4. ProCook Gourmet Stainless Steel Cookware Set
Along with saucepans at 14, 16, and 18 centimetres, you’ll enjoy a 24-centimetre casserole pan, a 20-centimetre stock pot, and a 24-centimetre frying pan.
This set is especially suitable for people who cook frequently for groups. Whether you’re preparing meals for family gatherings or for parties, the variety of pans allows you to cook more efficiently.
The materials and design of the pans facilitate high-quality cooking. They’re made of premium-grade stainless steel, and the frying pan also has a non-stick coating.
With the exception of hot plates, you can use them on various hobs and place them in an oven at a temperature of up to 260 degrees Celsius.
Aside from the frying pan, each piece contains litre markings that allow you to quickly check measurements. The glass lids are both attractive and give you the practical benefit of monitoring your cooking.
You’ll find pouring lips on both sides of the pans and straining holes for convenient drainage.
Some people find the pans a bit too thin and not easy to clean, but the overall customer experience has been favourable.
The pans are attractive, cook evenly, and are fairly easy to manoeuvre, especially because the handles don’t overheat.
5. Le Creuset 3-Ply Stainless Steel Saucepan Set
Le Creuset is one of the most highly regarded cookware brands, so it’s not surprising that they make some of the highest quality stainless-steel saucepans on the market.
This 3-piece set is a good choice if you’re looking for something pans that will last for years and don’t mind investing a bit of money in them. These pans aren’t cheap, but they are very well made.
The pan diameters are 20 cm, 18 cm and 16 cm, and you can stack them on top of each other to save storage space. Buying a set like this rather than a single pan gives you the ability to cook bigger and complex meals and choose the right pan size for each job.
Each pan has a metal lid which fits well, but doesn’t let you see what’s going on like a glass lid would.
The pans are designed with three layers; there is one layer of aluminium between two layers of stainless steel. This helps to make sure heat is spread out uniformly.
This design feature helps overcome one of the common issues with stainless-steel pans which is that the heat can be uneven, causing overheating in some parts of the pan.
These pans can be used on every kind of hob, including induction hobs. They’re also dishwasher safe and can be used in the oven up to 260°C. These Le Creuset pans are built to last and come with a lifetime guarantee.
6. Tefal Ingenio Pots and Pans Set
We understand that this Tefal pots and pan set may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s actually causing quite the stir for many home cooks.
This pots and pans set looks like it would be right at home in a caravan, but it is one of the most professional cook sets on the market right now and perfect for everyday use.
With this set, you get 13 pots and pans that are designed to work with induction hobs. You get two handles that can be used on any of the pots and pans and lids for the pots too.
Of course, thanks to the removable handles, any of the stainless-steel pots and pans in this set can be used in the oven.
As I said, this pot and pan set from Tefal may not appeal to everyone, but it is one of the most versatile cook sets on the market right now.
7. Prestige Everyday Milk Pan, Saucepan and Frypan Set of Five
If you’re looking for a relatively affordable set of pans, this set of five is an excellent choice. Although it isn’t expected to be as durable as a set that costs twice as much, each pan is still hardy and distributes heat well.
The set is comprised of a 24-centimetre frying pan, a 14-centimetre milk pan, and three saucepans that range from 16 to 20 centimetres.
The pans are compatible with dishwasher use, and the milk pan and frying pan have a non-stick surface, making it easier for you to transfer food and clean up afterwards.
The pans work well with induction cooktops and other hobs. You can also place them in the oven, provided the temperature doesn’t exceed 180 degrees Celsius.
The riveted handles are sturdy and easy to grip, giving each piece a decent manoeuvrability. Another perk is that the saucepans come with glass lids that are strong and fit well.
One complaint about the pans is that they may stain fairly quickly. Even as they continue to function well, their appearance won’t necessarily remain as shining and pristine as you may like. However, they still provide good value for the relatively low price.
Pros and Cons of Stainless-Steel Pans
Stainless steel is generally regarded as one of the best materials for making pots and pans. However, there are some disadvantages to using stainless-steel pans. Here’s an overview of the pros and cons.
- Rust and scratch-resistant
- Dishwasher safe
- Durable and last a long time
- Relatively ineffective at conducting heat
- Poor heat distribution
- Food can stick
How to Choose Stainless-Steel Cookware
Like most products, there is some special terminology you need to understand when choosing stainless-steel pans.
Stainless steel grades
Stainless steel pans aren’t made from 100% stainless steel, but rather contain a mixture of metals, in particular chromium and nickel. They are graded with two numbers, the first of which refers to the percentage of chromium and the second of which refers to the percentage of nickel. The three most common grades are 18/10, 18/8 and 18/0.
- 18/10 stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel. This is one of the most popular grades of stainless steel used in pans. It’s more expensive than other grades, but has a better shine and is more rust-resistant.
- 18/8 stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel. It’s cheaper than 18/10 stainless steel but has some of the same benefits.
- 18/0 stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 0% nickel. It’s the cheapest type of stainless steel but isn’t as durable as the other types.
Are stainless steel pans suitable for all hob types?
18/10 grade stainless steel pans can be used on any hob type. Most stainless steel pans these days are induction compatible, but you should check this before buying as there are some exceptions. See our roundup of the best pans for induction hobs if you’re not sure.
How much do stainless steel pans cost?
Stainless-steel pans tend to be more expensive than aluminium pans but not as expensive as copper pans. The price varies a lot depending on the brand and size of the pan. The cheapest stainless-steel pans cost less than £10, while the most expensive from brands such as Le Creuset can cost over £100.